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Weekly Update: 29/01/16

Sheep Ireland Board Meeting January 28th 2016

As discussed at previous meetings with breed society representatives we will include a summary of all Sheep Ireland Board Meetings in this update. The latest Board Meeting took place yesterday and below are the main issues that were discussed.

  • Across Breed Evaluations – Sheep Ireland geneticist Thierry Pabiou presented his most recent across breed evaluation which was run this month. Proposals to publish this information in some capacity will be discussed at the next meeting with breed society reps.
  • Capturing Additional Data – Ewe longevity data and animal carcase data were two areas identified as being of immediate focus for Sheep Ireland to address.
  • Breeder Educational Workshops 2016 – A suggestion was made that a number of workshop/educational events should be organised for breeders in advance of the ram sale season this summer.
  • Sheep Ireland Board Elections 2016 – A number of seats on the Sheep Ireland Board will be reaching the end of their four year term in 2016 and will be up for re-election in the coming months. The secretary of the Sheep Ireland Board Mr. John Carty will be making contact with all the relevant bodies in the coming weeks to inform them of what will be involved in the process.
  • OVIGEN Update – A full update on the OVIGEN research project was presented to the board. Details of the OVIGEN pilot project was also presented and it was agreed that this project has a major contribution to make to sheep breeding in Ireland.

LambPlus Sale 2016

Agreement was reached at the Board Meeting that the LambPlus sale will continue in 2016. No additional ram sales will be organised by Sheep Ireland in 2016. The date of this sale is provisionally booked for the 20th August in Tullamore mart (see note below). The specific entry details of this sale will be discussed at a later Board Meeting but will broadly be in line with previous years.

Important Note – The LambPlus sale date for 2016 will be Saturday August 27th. The 27th is the fourth Saturday in August. The Sheep Ireland ram sale has taken place on the fourth Saturday in August since 2012 and to remain consistent with previous years the sale date for 2016 will be Saturday August 27th.

Central Progeny Test (CPT) Update

The average conception rate across all flocks is just under 78% with a range of 73% up to 80%. Planning for the upcoming lambing period is now almost complete. Lambing will take place from March 1st to March 18th and will be an intense period of data recording. 24hr supervision will be in place throughout this period on all flocks. This level of supervision is critical to guarantee the capture of all lambing traits.